Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Five Things a TV Meteorologist Won't Tell You

1. The United State is not the world leader in weather forecasting. Europe, the UK, and Canada have some of the best supercomputers and weather models to date. In fact, we pay them for a their weather forecasts. Korea and China are also competitors. Next time you want to blame someone for getting the forecast wrong, you should blame your politicians. (Capital Weather Gang article, Cliff Mass Blog)

2. What does 20% chance of rain really mean? (Blog Post)

3. Crucial weather satellites are being decommissioned and are not being replaced. This will have a negative impact on our weather forecasting abilities in the near future. Some replacement satellites are still being built and others are not even on the drawing board. Again, you can blame your politicians. (article)

4. A TV "meteorologist" isn't required to have a degree in meteorology. Some on-air meteorologist just have broadcasting or journalism degrees. The American Meteorological Society awards a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) designation to those who graduate with a meteorology degree, complete a written test, and undergo a review process. (AMS requirements)

5. Forecasts for the next two or three days are pretty good. Forecasts beyond seven days are very uncertain. Forecasts beyond two weeks are impossible. Can't blame anyone for this. That's just the chaotic nature of the earth system. (NOAA Document)

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